2) Love Your Neighbor!?!

Oct 14, 10 2) Love Your Neighbor!?!

Applicable bible verse:

Hebrews 10: 24-25 “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”


Definitions:

Skewed – distorted, disfigured, bent, twisted

Practical – useful, down-to-earth, operational, in action, how to apply

Indwelling – live in you, reside in you

Humbly – meekly, not boastfully,

Repentance: asking forgiveness, feeling bad for past action

In the Old Testament (OT), the Jews taught that one of the most important verses is Deuteronomy 6:5, which states:

“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”

Jesus restated this in the New Testament (NT) when he said (Matthew 22:38-40):

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Jesus increased our responsibility.  Have you noticed how hard that is?  I mean, loving God is one thing but Jesus is asking us to love that annoying or hurtful human just as much!  Did Jesus mean even them?!?  Yes, ‘fraid so, in Matthew 5:43,44, Jesus says: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…”

Mankind’s dilemma since the Fall which occurred in the Garden in Eden, is that we find it really easy to love ourselves above all else, always at the expense of someone else: God or humans.  So Jesus requires that we place another person above ourselves.

Oh man… how in the world do we do that?!?  Thankfully, we can look at Jesus’ example and we can pray/ask God for “his heart” when we don’t sense the love in our own heart.  Also thankfully, our successfully expressing this Love, isn’t dependent on an emotion.  We are so used to “love” being expressed in an emotional way: a nice, fuzzy feeling, which we express the same way: nice and fuzzy. 😎

Loving your neighbor means giving someone respect, even when you don’t agree with their lifestyle, their ideas, or their actions.  Jesus had many discussions with the Pharisees and eventually the Sadducees and he wasn’t all nice and fuzzy with them.  Quite the opposite, in fact, but he was always respectful.  And something to remember, although they were the ones that led to his being put to death, Jesus actually died for them too.  Perhaps some of them eventually became Christians so were saved.  (We know that Paul did, eventually writing many of the letters in the NT.  The book of Acts has a lot of information about Paul and his conversion.)  Loving someone means that you value them and that you treat them as if you do value them.

The only way to love your neighbor is to ask for God’s assistance and that is only done successfully through a relationship with Jesus.

As a human, my view and demonstration of Love will be skewed.  Only God can really express Love in its purist form: unselfishly.

Thankfully, we have a physical & practical demonstration of what Love looks and acts like in the life of Jesus.  Jesus didn’t have a selfish bone in his body.  Because only Jesus is human AND God, only he can show us the best representation of Love on this earth.

So how can we even hope to express it well?

By allowing the Holy Spirit to dwell in your heart – an indwelling.

How can you ask him into your heart?

Recognizing that Jesus died for your sins so you could have fellowship with a Holy God.  By humbly and with repentance, asking him to live in you and to work in you for his purposes, for His kingdom.

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1 Comment

  1. Jamie

    Yes, this is definitely hard to do. Usually it’s much easier to complain about people than it is to love them. You’re right though: if we want to live the way that God wants us to live, then we have to remember this. Hate is only destructive, whereas if we love someone who’s difficult to get along with, God can work miracles in their hearts and ours.

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